Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / How the Bilious Orator Essayed >> Page 380

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription CHAPTER, XVII.
HOW THE BILIOUS ORATOR ESSAYED.
" A GOOD deal has been said in respect to the monotony of
the prospect while passing through the North-Carolina country.
In respect to such influences as are derived from the moral
world, and by which places are lighted up by a brilliancy not
their own, the same thing may be said of most of the ordinary
stage and railway routes everywhere in our country. Roads
are usually drawn through the most accessible regions. The
lands commonly surrendered for this purpose are generally the
most inferior, and the man of taste rarely establishes a fine man-
sion upon the common highway. In the South, this is particu-
larly the case. The finer dwellings of the planter are to be
approached through long and sinuous avenues, that open only a
green arch upon the roadside, and show you nothing to convey
any tolerable idea of the beauty, taste and comfort which are
buried in noble woods away from vulgar curiosity. The land-
scape, in the eye of the hurrying traveller, needs to possess but
a single element variety. Let it be broken into great inequal-
ities � steep rocks, and deep dells and valleys, overhanging
precipices, and thundering waterfalls � and the voyager, who is
only the pendant to a locomotive for the nonce, is quite satisfied.
Beauty of detail is, of course, quite imperceptible to his vision.
In the old countries of Europe, the site is illustrated by tower
and temple, picturesque ruin and votive tablet. The handbook
which you carry distinguishes the spot with some strange or
startling history. In our world of woods, we lack these ad-
juncts. If we had the handbook, we should doubtlessly dis-
cover much to interest us in the very scenes by which we hurry
with contempt. Dull and uninteresting as the railroad route
appears through North and South Carolina, were you familiar
with the facts in each locality could you couple each with its